Dubai – UAE, 26 November 2013: A consortium comprising a reputable bank, Royal families, and a group of elite businessmen in the GCC, announced that an agreement to setup the first Islamic bank in the Eurozone has been concluded. This announcement was made public during the Global Islamic Economy Summit 2013 held in Dubai on the 25 – 26 November.
Deloitte has completed the feasibility study of the bank which demonstrated high return on investment, taking advantage of being the first mover to the Eurozone countries. Set to be headquartered in Luxembourg due to its robust macro-economic environment and supportive regulatory framework for (Islamic) financial services, the founders, promoters and Deloitte have concluded a meeting with the CSSF (Luxemburg's Supervisory Authority) which has welcomed the idea and gave the directions to prepare the documents required to submit the bank's file to obtain the banking license.
Eurisbank will establish its operation in line with Luxembourg's aim to become the first Islamic Banking Capital in the Eurozone, delivering a spectrum of world class financial services in Retail, Corporate, and Private Banking, with a start-up capital totalling Euro 60 Million, and is set to have branches in Paris, Brussels, The Netherlands and Frankfurt. Deloitte and Excellencia Investment Management have been assigned to conduct all procedures through to finalizing the establishment of Eurisbank.
Marco Lichtfous partner in Deloitte Luxembourg said: “As the worldwide Islamic finance industry moves from niche to critical mass while Europe is becoming an attractive and promising market that is not yet served by Shari'ah-compliant banking services, considerable potential exists for the expansion of Islamic Finance and Excellencia Investment Management (ExIM) by launching Eurisbank, the first Islamic bank in the Eurozone.” He added: “The global market for Islamic financial services is estimated at USD 1.8 trillion, and by opening new markets the numbers are set to grow significantly in the years ahead.”
On another note, Ammar Dabbour, Managing Partner in Excellencia Investment Management explained that: “A large untapped customer base with more than 20 million Muslims in the EU represent a significant market growth potential for Islamic Finance, and with the strong support of the European governments and regulatory authorities of the Islamic Finance Model, the unification of the regulatory framework within the European Union is a significant advantage to serve Muslim and non-Muslim communities across Europe. With Low penetration rates of Islamic banking products in Europe resulting from a lack of supply and the strong demand from Muslim clients for Shari'ah-compliant services which are not appropriately addressed by current banking offering, Eurisbank is devised to supply a much needed spectrum of services and products unique to their audience.”
When asked about the expected launching of the bank Mr. Dabbour said: 'We will compile the file in January 2014 and submit it to the CSFF for their final screening, and anticipate their positive opinion and the ensuing final approval by the Ministry of Finance by April 2014, which gives us enough time to launch the bank's operation in the last quarter of 2014.'
Eurisbank focuses on its core competency, which is the distribution, product combination, portfolio optimization, manager selection and product screening of Islamic financial products. For the building and structuring of the products, it will utilize the longstanding expertise of its shareholders. Customers will be acquired through the personal relationships of Eurisbank management and its shareholders and through targeted marketing and communication campaigns while leveraging its first-mover advantage as a Shari'ah-compliant banking group in the Eurozone.